This book by Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk is a supplement to his two great books, Capital and Interest and The Positive Theory of Capital. Here he takes on alternatives to the Austrian theory he had previously presented, and thereby clarifies the case. It is an excellent illustration of the economist's stunning patience and capacity for thorough exposition.
It begins with an introduction by the historian of thought William A. Scott, who praises these essays to the skies. Boehm-Bawerk then takes on a number of new competitors to the Austrian theory: The agio theory, use theories, the abstinence theory, the labor theory, the productivity theory, the exploitation theory, and the eclectics.
It's incredible, by the way, how each of these theories continues to be ""discovered"" by economists in our own time, who, being unaware of the history of thought, are under the impression that they are advancing science when in fact they are only digging up old fallacies.
In each case, he shows the fallacies and missteps of all alternatives to the time-preference theory, leaving no doubt as to the origin and nature of interest.
In our own time, these rare essays constitute what is really a lost book in the history of the Austrian tradition. It is indispensible for understand both the theory and the mind of the economist who was the teacher of Mises and the master of the theory of interest.